Troubles with diaper pins?

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IttyBit

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So today I was diapering myself in my old fashoned prefold cloth diapy, and came across a common problem I usually have, and that's pinning myself. Almost every time I try to fasten the diaper pins on either side of me, I tend to have problems pricking myself, or struggle to fit the pins all the way through the diaper.

Does anyone else who wears prefold cloths have any sort of trouble like this? Or any advice on how to have an easier time fastening them?
 

Lutero

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I have never worn or pinned a cloth diaper, so I'm not exactly sure how the pins are, er.. pinned.

If possible, try doing as you would with a badge or safety pin, try pinching the area of fabric to make a tight 'n' and then run the needlepoint through the ridge,then spread the fabric back out.

You could also try putting something thin but resilient between yourself and the area you pin, then remove it after you're all snug.

If you're pricking your fingers, try a thimble!

Hope this help a bit, I really am an idiot when it comes to the workings of cloth padding!
 

Sarevok

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This Christmas I bought my first cloth prefold :)smile:!). I seem to improve at diapering myself every time I do it. The biggest problem I had when I first started was pinning it tight enough (I like a snug fit).

So what I do is get one side pulled snugly and hold it tight with one hand, while carefully putting the pin through the diaper. With my prefold (which I bought from Baby-Pants, the thickest one they sell), I can easily get the pin through the diaper when sticking it in where I start (which is closer to my hip). Then I carefully and slowly run it along my stomach/just below my stomach. You just need to be careful and go slow, and in time, you should get the hang of it.

Like you mentioned, I too have trouble getting the pin all the way through the diaper when getting the end out, obviously because the prefold has extra layers in the center, making twice as thick. I just keep trying and brute force it through. Another tricky part is, since I like having a snug fit. I have to have almost all of the needle underneath the diaper, I don't want any excess exposed, because if there is, it won't be snug enough. This makes it hard to close the diaper pin.

So to recap, I hold the side I'm pinning tight, put the pin in through the diaper, run it along my body (parallel), and then push it out through the diaper, making sure on a small amount of it is exposed, and then close the pin.
 

Cottontail

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Well, firstly, if you're having trouble getting the pins through the fabric, you might try one of the following:
  • Store your pins in a bar of soap. The soap residue will help the pins glide through.
  • Rub the pins in your hair before pinning. Same idea as above; your hair oils will lube the pin.

Against most recommendations, I do use fabric softener on my diapers periodically. The absorbency is reduced a little, but I love the extra softness, and whaddaya know? The pins go through A LOT easier. (This is with twill prefolds. I haven't had any issues pinning gauze.)

As for pricking yourself, well, you could always try Snappis or Boingos instead of pins. Both are basically little clawed bungies that grab and hold the diaper fabric. Of the two, I think Boingos are the best suited to adults. You use them in pairs just like diaper pins, so they are one-size-fits-all.

If you still want to use pins (I think pins are great), here's how I do it: I hold the two layers of my prefold together right where I plan to pin. When pinning the left side, I hold the diaper with my right hand, and when pinning the right side, I use my left hand. My thumb is always between the diaper and my body. With my remaining free hand, I gently push the pin straight down through the fabric, trying to make it so that the tip pokes through right at the tip of my thumb. Then, I use that thumb to push the shaft of the pin sideways until the tip of the pin is back in the diaper fabric, angled up and away from my body. This is much easier than trying to manipulate the pin's angle from the outside of the diaper. IMO.

So that's one way. Unfortunately, while baby diapering sites are useful when it comes to folding cloth diapers, instructions for pinning usually don't apply when the person doing the pinning is also the person wearing the diaper. Some experimentation will be required.
 
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EmilyL

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I found going at the diaper sideways with the pin works best. I'll bunch the diaper up a little once it's all folded on me and ready and once I go through a layer or two I then move the pin up and out. I never go straight down and land within the same "corner" just before the threads. I found the pin ending up at a 45 degree angle to my hip bone helps to prevent the metal from hitting my bone.
 

dogboy

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All good advise. I would add that there are two types of diaper pins, one kind for baby diapers, and the other for adults. The adult pins are not only longer, but the shaft is thicker. For these you have to soap them or oil them. I use baby diaper pins. I like the fact that I'm using something that is genuinely for babies, but the shaft is thinner, and goes through the fabric easily.

I lay down on the bed, and pull the left side ends together, overlapping them. I pin that side, probably with my right hand while I'm holding it together with my left hand. Then I stand up, pull the diaper tight, again overlapping the corners, and in the reverse direction of the left, so that the pin is pointing toward the back of me, push the pin through the fabric. I can feel it against my skin, but I then push it upward and out, then snapping it shut all the while holding the corners tightly together.
 

Cottontail

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All good advise. I would add that there are two types of diaper pins, one kind for baby diapers, and the other for adults. The adult pins are not only longer, but the shaft is thicker. For these you have to soap them or oil them. I use baby diaper pins. I like the fact that I'm using something that is genuinely for babies, but the shaft is thinner, and goes through the fabric easily.

Yeah, I'll second this. I tried the jumbo diaper pins from Baby Pants and thought they were terrible. In addition to a thicker shaft they have a very steep taper on the point, so it was difficult to get them through the fabric. And when they did go through, I could hear threads popping. I ended up tossing 'em. I've liked everything else I've gotten from Baby Pants, but those pins were a major dud. Protex Medical sells another 3" diaper pin that I know a few people here use and like. I might give it a go at some point just to make sure I'm not missing out, but I've pretty much settled on the ubiquitous Dritz baby diaper pins that you can find at almost any fabric store. They work great.
 
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Honeywell6180

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Believe it or not, the Protex pins work very well. The only drawback, is that they are expensive.
 

Ringer

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Do I like diaper pins? Yes and no. As long as I have someone else diapering me their fine. I always had a problem getting them tight enough. The best thing they ever came up with was a disposable adult diaper. Now with arthritis in my hand the only time I can ware cloth is when my wife pins me in them.
Of course that means I have trouble getting out of them. Leads to some interesting situations.
 

Treacle

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Try holding where you're going to pin with your thumb with the rest of your fingers on that hand on the inside of your diaper. Use the other hand to push the pin through. The fingers on the inside can be used as a kind of shield/buffer and can help you push the pin back through to the outside again. This also means you aren't trying to push the pin through bunched up layers and should help get a tighter fit.

No method is fail proof however, pricking is always a risk.
 

MetalMann

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Forget the pins and get Snappi brand fasteners. They work really well and stretch quite a bit and when adjusted properly they provided a great fit.
 

Starchild

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I have also recently started experimenting with terry nappy squares and pins, just like what i wore when i was a little baby! I have experienced the same problems mentioned here, i did not enjoy pricking my finger so quickly learnt how to avoid that, although I have no special technique, I'm just more careful! I still have to figure out what the best fold is for me, I use the kite fold, I wanted to use the triangle fold as that's what my mum used with me but I dont get on with that fold, does not fit right and not thick enough. The other problems I have had with pins is getting it pinned on nice and tight as i like the feeling of security, and it seems no matter how tight i manage to pin them on the nappy does start to slide down after a while, especially when wet!, also experienced the trouble with getting the pin through the material, its amazing really that its so hard to push a sharp bit of metal through some soft fabric, I read somewhere that mums used to wipe the pin through their hair, I laughed and thought what a mad idea, but tried it, and to be honest it did seem to make it easier! i guess the pin picks up some of the natural oils in the hair which makes it easier to push through. My biggest gripe though is that i like to stay in my nappy for quite some time, probably longer than I should, especially as i have to remember they are not disposables which last longer, after an overnight use my pins had actually rusted and now i have little brown rust stains in my pure white nappies which irritate me, i've tried vinegar and drying in the sun which is supposed to help get rid of stains but it looks like they are set. I blame the quaility of the pins, they are from cosy n dry and i have a feeling that they are not made of proper stainless steel, so I shall have to find another place to get them from, dont think baby ones would be big enough or i would use them, and I wont use one of those snappi things either, If I am going to wear old fashioned terry nappies and plastic pants then I will use the traditional pins as well! I spotted you can get pins which have a curve to them, they might make it a bit easier pinning them on.
 

MrHappy69

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I wear terry nappies too, and although I would naturally prefer to use real 'baby' nappy pins, they are just not up to fastening an adult size nappy, especially if it is doubled. I always use kilt pins, which are also sometimes used for fastening ladies' pleated tartan skirts (which resemble kilts). Anyhow, these pins are about 3 inches long and made from strong steel and are easy to push through several layers of terry towelling. They never come undone and hold everything together snugly. You can buy them from haberdashery shops or online suppliers - just google 'kilt pins'. For those in the UK - John Lewis and associated shops.
 

ade

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i use mini-bungees. pins can still be afixed, at your leisure, but you don't have the hassle of ensuring a good, tight fit and all the following fears of them popping open.
 

critcarern

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I'm with you on difficulty of pins. I've had great luck with Boingos and generally use 4 per diaper. They're basically just like tapes. Changing Times Diaper Company sells them for a reasonable price.
 

Eclectic

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I've used pins for years. Sometimes I do stick myself, but even though I have Snappis and Boingos, I prefer the pins (Dritz pins are my favorite). Besides what's already been mentioned, here's some more tips. Buy in bulk (each package usually comes with two pairs). Out of the new ones, you will find some are sharper than others and a few are just plain dull. Remove the dull ones. While pinning, go in at a more horizontal angle, coming from the your side towards your center. It takes practice, but you'll want to have a good idea where you went in and where the pin will be coming out. Pinching the fabric with the other hand helps. If you find it hard to push in, you can twist the pin back and forth, which usually frees it to push through the fabric. Again, just have a good idea of where it's coming through so you don't stick yourself. Good luck.
 

chuck

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I have both plastic-head pins and the metal sliding-head Dritz pins. The Dritz pins seem to be much sharper than the others and work better for me.
 

Cottontail

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I have both plastic-head pins and the metal sliding-head Dritz pins. The Dritz pins seem to be much sharper than the others and work better for me.

Dritz ftw! :) I'll add that GMD sells customized Dritz pins that are even sharper, having a slightly more gradual taper (GMD Dritz pins). I have a few pairs of these in addition to a few pairs of ordinary off-the-shelf Dritz pins. They are slightly easier to push through, so if you're willing to wait, I highly recommend them. Otherwise, I find the ordinary Dritz pins to be more than adequate.

I also like the GMD toddler prefolds as boosters, so if you're looking for something else to "pad" that order with, heheheh...
 

diverj

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soap is a great tip,but even better is to use 3 or maybe 4 pins. this is like the 4 tapes on big disposables. 2 pins are for little babies so less terry.
 

Starchild

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Part of the reason I am experimenting with terry nappies is because its what i wore as a baby, I want that experience to be as close to the real thing as possible, so using any more pins than 2 would ruin that for me, I think 2 pins is more than enough, my mum only used one on my nappies with the triangle fold so I am already using one more pin that i want! 2 pins are for little babies?, yaaaaaaaay guess that makes me a little baby then, gurgle bababbbabbubbbbrrrrbrbr
 
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